Happy New Year
Force 4 Sailing would like to wish all our past, present and future customers a Happy New Year (or, as we say in Spain Feliz Aňo Nuevo)
As everyone knows, we started Force 4 Sailing at the beginning of 2017 with lots of hopes and aspirations and it’s been a real roller-coaster of a year for us.
We literally hatched our plan on the back of a beer mat (it would’ve been a fag packet but neither of us smoke!). It was the summer of 2016 and we’d just returned from a 10 day motorcycle tour in Europe that took in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Luxembourg! I suppose anything seems like a good idea when your bum is recovering from all those miles!
At the time Amanda was splitting herself between working in the Caribbean in the winter months and working in Gibraltar in the summer months. “Not a bad life” I hear you say, but it was very transient and she was unable to call anywhere home.
I myself was living in Ipswich with a 2.5 hour each-way commute to St Charles hospital in London. Quite a long day when you add in another 8 hours sitting in the office!
Amanda owned a 36 foot yacht called “Great Escape” which was berthed in Gibraltar on permanent loan to a local sailing school but she was only just covering her costs and we thought “What the hell, it’s now or never!” so Force 4 Sailing was born.
We spent a few months scoping out where to base the business and looked at the towns of Rota, Estepona, Duquesa and Soto Grande but none of them seemed quite right. On a whim we took a drive to Marina del Este and fell in love with it immediately.
For those of you who have never been, Marina del Este is small and stunning and quite unlike any of the other marinas we’d previously visited. Nestled between the towns of La Herradura and Almunecar, below the outcrop of Punta de la Mona, in the province of Granada. It’s about 15 minutes drive form the town of Nerja which, in itself, is about an hour away from the city of Malaga.
Next we had to find somewhere to live and a quick reconnaissance of the local area revealed that we would be quite near the stunning mountain village of Frigiliana, a town that is regularly shortlisted in the annual competition for Spain’s most beautiful village, and for good reason. On top of that we’d found a fantastic property in the hills above the village that was for rent. It was perfect and just the right size for us. Surrounded on three sides by hills and mountains with incredible views of Frigiliana in the foreground and the added benefit of being able to see the Mediterranean Sea in the distance. Everything seemed to be falling into place!
Next we moved Great Escape from Gibraltar to Marina del Este which, is about 90 nautical miles. We completed the trip in three short hops:
- Gibraltar to Marbella
- Marbella to Caleta
- Caleta to Marina del Este
That was it, a website and some advertising later and Force 4 Sailing had it’s first charter. We had a few ups and downs along the way and we’ve learned loads. There are some things we would have done differently if we had to start again but on the whole we’ve been really happy with how everything has gone. 2017 wasn’t the busiest of years for us but it gave us the chance to bed ourselves in and hone our service to the level it is, where we get consistently brilliant feedback. That said we don’t intend to rest on our laurels and will always strive for our next charter to be better than the last.
Let’s raise a toast to 2018, if it’s as good as last year, it’s going to be a belter!!!